During the depression era, Great Grandma was able to keep her family from going hungry and homeless, because she was prepared. Great Grandpa built their first home; it was a small three bedroom cabin. There was also a kitchen and a family room.
My mother told me that Great Grandpa had built a smoke house in the back yard behind the house, where they smoked the majority of their meats like ham and turkey. They maintained a garden in which they grew all kinds of vegetables, beans and flowers. They had fruit and nut trees spread around the land. Great Grandma canned a lot of food from her garden so there was and over abundance of food. They made practically everything they needed for themselves. They had lots of chickens, hogs and cows. This was very common among people back then to can and store food and make or build every little thing they needed.
There was no such thing as waste; they reused everything until it wore completely out. They fed the dogs and cats from the food scraps from the table, there was no such thing as canned dog or cat food for them.
There was no such thing as being in debt nor did they put money in banks, they feared banks. Great Grandma’s bank was under her mattress or jars and cans in the kitchen cabinets. She also had a treadle sewing machine; she made most of their clothing. They had wood stoves and a fireplace to keep warm.
My mom said Great Grandpa had died before the depression hit. It wasn’t too far into the depression that my Grandma realized they weren’t going to survive on their own so my mom said her mother decided to move the family back home to Great Grandma’s to stay while her father had gone in search of employment where ever he could find it and he sent money home when he could. They called Great Grandma big mama back then. She had so much wisdom, strength and common sense.
Thank goodness Great Grandma was prepared and was the one that caused our family to survive and not starve. She had plenty of everything and not only fed her family she helped a few other families survive too. They basically bartered for things they did not have. Great Grandma took good care of things so the family could survive the depression without going hungry. I am so amazed at some of the survival stories my mother told me about back then.
So I say Great Grandma was a prepper before there was a thing called prepping. It was called having mother wit and being wise my mother said.